Alabama football: 5 questions the Crimson Tide must answer in 2020

Najee Harris of the Alabama Crimson Tide. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Najee Harris of the Alabama Crimson Tide. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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Alabama football (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Alabama football (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Alabama football should be elite in 2020 but isn’t without looming questions.

Regardless of the outcome, many people expected the 2019 campaign to be the final one for Tua Tagovailoa with Alabama football. The realistic hope, though, was that his last year with the Crimson Tide would end up the same way it began — with the quarterback hoisting a National Championship trophy. Instead, Nick Saban’s club went just 11-2 and failed to make the SEC Championship Game.

Tagovailoa is gone now, ushering in some uncertainty at quarterback, but optimistic uncertainty. Mac Jones filled in for his predecessor last season and looked promising and he’s now joined by five-star freshman Bryce Young. But even with some worries under center, and with concerns about the coronavirus, there is every reason to believe in Alabama.

The Crimson Tide have studs on both sides of the ball returning, such as running back Najee Harris, linebacker Dylan Moses, wide receiver DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle, cornerback Patrick Surtain II, and many others. This team is loaded and should be in the mix for another title.

Yet, Alabama football simply isn’t without questions as they come into the 2020 season. And these are the five biggest that the Crimson Tide must find answers to this year.

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5. Does Alabama football have a quarterback controversy brewing?

In his three seasons with Alabama and two as a starter, Tagovailoa racked up numbers, accolades and wins. He only lost two games as a starter, played in two College Football Playoff National Championship Games, threw for 7,442 yards and had 87 touchdowns with only 11 interceptions. So it’s safe to say that he has some mighty big shoes to fill.

As mentioned, it’ll be between Mac Jones and true freshman Bryce Young as to who takes over for Tua under center. Early in the offseason, it was supposed that we would see a heated spring battle between the two players for the starting job in the 2020 season. But with the COVID-19 pandemic nixing spring practices and shortening the offseason, that changes things.

Given his experience with the program and with several key components on the offense — namely Harris, Smith and Waddle — Jones likely has a strong edge over Young as to who will begin the season as the starter for the Crimson Tide. It will be fascinating to see, though, how long Jones will be able to hold onto that spot.

Despite how well Jones has played when called upon to this point in his college career, Young is the superior natural talent at the position that can open up more doors for the offense, in theory. If Jones and the Crimson Tide stumble offensively out of the gate with matchups against USC and Georgia in the first three weeks, you have to wonder if we’ll see Young take the reins.